Dave's Travel Journal

A vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking. - Earl Wilson


unpacking the van

Well, we finally got around to removing the boxes from the van. There were a total of 20 boxes, plus other packages, loose items, and other stuff.

 Wow! How did it all fit?

It reminds me of the cross country 1972 trip our family took. It's unbelievable just how big cars were back then. I think mom has a picture of all the stuff that fit in the huge Buick trunk. I'll see if I can dig it out.

Now comes the hard part. What do we actually bring with us to China? Here's our thinking:

What we don't need to bring:

1) Books - We sold our books and bought two Kindles and loaded them up with some classics for free. We cut-n-pasted other books/references into MS Word documents. Then we email them to our Kindles for free. Amazon converts the documents to the Kindle automatically. We don't really even need to bring blank writing notebooks. In China, notebooks are everywhere and they are very cheap, often just a few dollars U.S. There are a lot of students in China. Study is encouraged. Blank writing notebooks are needed.

2) Clothes - We need very few clothes. We can buy whatever else we need later.

3) CDs - I've uploaded many of my CDs into Amazon's  Cloud Drive. This is a new offering that allows you to upload and play your CDs on any device at any time.  (Oh, and if you buy an album by December 31st, you'll get another 20 gigs free!)

4) Photos - I've purchased a Flickr Pro account ($25 / year) for unlimited storage. I've scanned and uploaded photos there. Also, I purchased several 4 & 8 gig USBs from Walmart ($12 & $20 each) for a local backup too.

5) Documents - I been using Google Docs now for years. I just email or upload my documents to their cloud document storage (MS Word, PDF, HTML type documents are all supported). No need to keep them on my machine or in a file cabinet. Actually you can also toss your favorite word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs too. The ones at Google have all the features and more and are free.  The spreadsheet program provides email forms too.  Awesome stuff. Go ahead, lighten your load.


What to bring:

1) Spices - There are many spices we can't get in China. Ruth dumped several different kinds into little pill ziplock baggies and placed them into a plastic airtight container.

2) A few office supplies, a couple of good fountain pens & inks (good fountain pens are very hard to find in China), a few art supplies, a sketch book.

3) Coffee - We need this fluid. You can get coffee there but it's expensive and not very good. We'll start off with a few pounds of our own for now. Later we can go hunting for the China brands.

4) A Kindle eReader loaded with the latest books for reading. (See above.) It's so hard to find English books in China for reasonable prices. Most are around $20 and they are often used. Yikes!

5) Not sure what else . . . yet . . . stay tuned.  We'll probably figure it out AFTER we arrive.

...dave
The upper crust is just a bunch of crumbs held together by some dough. - Anon

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